Intel’s latest 12th Generation Core-series processors, dubbed ‘Alder Lake’, were launched on November 4, 2021. Intel has taken a page out of ARM’s playbook by taking inspiration from its ‘big.LITTLE’ architecture in building its new Alder Lake CPUs. Alder Lake processors will feature performance cores, utilising the Golden Cove architecture, and efficient cores that use the Gracemont architecture to deliver power or efficiency as per the requirement. Alder Lake processors also bring native support for DDR5 RAM and PCI Express 5.0 support.
Asus Z690 Series Motherboards Features, Specifications
The Alder Lake processors require all new motherboards and ASUS was quick to take the wraps off its latest Z690 lineup of motherboards. These come with a new socket named LGA 1700, which gets 1700 pins as opposed to 1200 pins of the outgoing LGA 1200 socket. However, it gets dual mounting holes for attaching LGA 1200-compatible cooler systems.
The ASUS Z690 motherboards support DDR5 RAM and also allow overclocking of not just the high-speed RAM kits, but also the standard modules that have a locked PMIC (Power Management IC). These motherboards leverage AI (Artificial Intelligence) for overclocking the CPU and cooling system. ASUS says its engineers have meticulously gathered data of thousands of processors and system configurations to refine the algorithm of AI Overclocking. The algorithm analyses your CPU and system cooling and then optimises voltage and frequency settings to bring out the best performance. These values can then be applied manually or automatically to save time. The supplied AI Overclocking utility tracks vital system stats, which would aid in monitoring the system health. Select models also get AI for networking and audio tuning.
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ASUS Z690 motherboards are equipped with up to two PCIe 5.0 slots for pairing graphics cards. Select models even feature an onboard PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot or a bundled ROG Hyper M.2 card. The inbuilt Wi-Fi 6E technology offers up to three times the bandwidth of the 5GHz band to deliver ultrafast networking speeds. These motherboards promise very fast file transfers, uninterrupted online gaming, and high resolution online video consumption owing to their onboard 10Gb/s and 2.5Gb/s Ethernet ports. These boards come with USB-C 3.2 Gen with a 2×2 boost feature, which allows transfer speeds up to 20 Gbps. The Thunderbolt 4 port delivers up to 40Gbps of bidirectional bandwidth for the latest high-speed devices and drives. Thunderbolt 4 port also supports up to two external 4K displays.
Asus Z690 Motherboards Price, Availability
You can get Intel Z690 chipset-based motherboards from ASUS in ROG, ROG Strix, TUF Gaming, ProArt, and Prime variants. These motherboards are available currently in North America with prices starting from $189.99 (around ₹14,000) and going all the way up to $599.99 (around ₹44,500). ASUS India has a few ROG Z690 motherboards for sale on its website, while the other variants are expected to go on sale soon.